09/06/2023 : Polish Film “Camera Buff” directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Overview: Camera Buff (Polish: Amator, meaning “amateur”) is a 1979 Polish drama film written and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Jerzy Stuhr. An ordinary factory worker buys a camera on the occasion of the birth of his child. The authorities order him to make documentaries about the factory’s success. But his endeavour to be truthful leads him to opposition against censorship.
- The film’s opening scene and Irka’s nightmare about a hawk killing a chicken are reminiscent of Ken Loach’s Kes (1969) – a film about a boy who takes to training a wild kestrel in order to escape his troubled life. Later, Filip can be seen reading a filmmaking text and turning to a section about Ken Loach and Kes (1969). This reference is twofold. First, Filip is clearly inspired by filmmakers like Loach in making social realist films about working-class people. Second, Irka is tormented by images mirroring Kes (1969) which represent her husband’s budding obsession with this type of filmmaking.
”Camera Buff manifests a strong sense of self-importance. It seems to share Filip’s conviction that there is something magical about the camera itself, sometimes confusing the importance of the object photographed with the camera that does the photographing.” – The New York Times
“Camera Buff is the film that gave Kieslowski major international attention and marks a major artistic shift in his work” – Senses of Cinema
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